Self-Care Advent Calendar (Week 4)
We're nearly at the big day itself so I do hope that you are feeling good and as calm as you possibly can during the festive period!
These next 4 days of our advent calendar are all about snatching and enjoying those little tiny moments within the madness so that you can really and truly savour some of this wonderful time of year.
Today is about getting 5 minutes of peace and attempting to do a short and simple "meditation". Pick the quietest room in the house and shut the door. Light a candle and find a comfortable place to sit with relaxed uncrossed legs and maybe place your hands on a cushion over your lap. Set a timer for 10 mins or 5 mins and turn off all calls/messages/emails on your phone. Make sure you are warm enough so that you can really relax. Stare at the candle and allow thoughts to come in and then let them leave your head, don’t chase them and don’t entertain them. Just acknowledge them and let them float away. Sit and enjoy the peace. When the timer goes off, take a few moments to just slowly take some deep breaths before re-entering the Christmas madness!
This challenge is one that I love... it's all about gratitude! Take a quiet 5 minutes and go through everything that you are grateful for. Get the big things out of the way first and then start to think about the tiny things that you are grateful for... the beautiful decorations, the food, the Christmas tree, music, friends, laughter...
The last but one challenge is about loading up on some fibre, vitamins and antioxidants before the sugar rush from snacking starts! Starting the day with a really good breakfast that will stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full all morning (the key to avoiding the worst of the Christmas snacking and nibbling). Porridge is always a winner for me. Take a small mug/beaker and scoop in about 50g of porridge oats. Take a look at where the oats come up to in whichever cup you have used and then tip them into a pan. Now add double the volume of fluid (I tend to use milk but you can use water or a mixture of milk and water). Heat the porridge until it's gently simmering and let it bubble away, stirring regularly, until thick and creamy. Tip into a bowl and then comes the fun bit! Chopped fruit is great or you could even stir in some frozen berries during the cooking. Sprinkle over some nuts or seeds and then add a spoonful of honey if you would like a little sweetness!
Christmas Eve! My favourite day of the year.
This is the day to just take some time to have a mug/glass of your favourite drink... a cup of tea, or a glass of fizz, or wine, or a hot chocolate (with or without baileys)!? Just enjoy a few minutes to drink it without doing anything else... just "be" and let the chaos continue around you (it's only for a few minutes!) whilst you just enjoy.
We hope that you have enjoyed these little suggestions and that a few of them might creep into your normal day-to-day life. It is so important to just take a bit of time to "be" and not "do" in todays busy world. Switch off the phone for a bit over Christmas, have a digital detox and enjoy time with your family, friends or just in peace on your own.
Merry Christmas and wishing you the happiest of years for 2018.